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Dock 3.0: Quick app switching for jailbroken iPhone 2.0 phones

All > Tech > Software > Dock 3.0: Quick app switching for jailbroken iPhone 2.0 phones by natetrue
Back in the old iPhone 1.x firmwares, I made an app called Dock that would allow you to switch between apps quickly, without needing to go back to the home screen.

Then iPhone firmware 2.0 came out and turned everything on its head! I had to completely rewrite Dock in order to get it working in 2.0, and of course, I added some handy extra features along the way.

Features, you say? Dock:
- Sorts apps by categories, making large amounts of apps easy to manage
- Imports Favorites entries from Phone with pictures, into the "Speed Dial" category
- Can be disabled in specific applications
- Has a Prefs app that lets you quickly categorize apps the way you want them
- Has two "sunburst" modes for even quicker switching
- Can see apps hidden by Poof

To use, install from Cydia (props to Shaun Erickson for packaging), and reboot your phone. The yellow line across the bottom of your screen shows you that Dock is active. Now slide your finger up from the bottom of the screen, slowly. Dock will activate and you can select a category. Then move your finger further up the screen to select an app. Let go to launch, or slide back down to cancel.

The sunbursts are fun little things (new to 3.1). They can be set to any category, or to be a list of most recently used apps. Drag up from the left or right side of the bottom edge of the screen, and they will come up. Let go to launch, drag back to bottom to cancel.

To categorize your apps, just open Dock Prefs.

Choose the category you want to move from, then the app, then a new category for that app.
When you're done, hit Back and choose Restart SpringBoard at the bottom to apply the changes.

I've got more features planned for Dock, including something to quickly switch between the most recently used apps.

Dock is also open-source, under LGPL. Source code for Dock

How Dock works

Dock used to work by running as a separate application that asserted its windows above others. Now, though, the 2.0 firmware doesn't allow that to happen. Instead, it uses Jay Freeman's MobileSubstrate to inject code directly into SpringBoard. Then its windows are asserted above apps in the usual fashion.

MobileSubstrate is cool because it allows developers to inject their code into any app, intercepting messages to any objects, and running and modifying anything they want. This might sound like a dangerous thing (and it is), but it also opens possibilities to add features to any aspect of the phone.

Stay tuned for more fancy Dock features!

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Posted by natetrue 7 years ago ( 19-Aug-2008 14:50:34 )

Also, to modify category icons, add them to /Applications/

Posted by trusol 7 years ago ( 19-Aug-2008 19:23:42 )

I know these things you probably already consider but just want to know for sure.
- Delete Categories
- *bug* Disable dock for apps doesnt work (maybe its just me?)
+ Instead of disable for dock, you should just be able to remove the APP from a category.
- *bug* Hidden apps (POOF!) dont show up

Posted by kel 7 years ago ( 19-Aug-2008 19:43:10 )

Hey Nate any chance you make a back door for someone who used Poof to hide all there icons LOL??

Posted by trusol 7 years ago ( 19-Aug-2008 20:58:56 )

@kel , see this was what i was afraid of. But yeah if you have SSH on you can SSH your way back or your going to have to restore.

Posted by jltdhome 7 years ago ( 20-Aug-2008 04:51:13 )

Whats up Nate, first off, GREAT APP - thanks for the quick release. A couple things. Could there be an option to switch between the CATEGORY style and the OLD SUNBURST on the bottom right corner. It was great when I could just roll my thumb and QUICKLY start an application. The new style is a little hard to navigate through. Frankly its a lot easier to swipe my finder and push on the standard Application icon. From looking at the comments on MMI and a lot of people share my thoughts on this. The old style was AWESOME. Also, im sure you know from the comments above... the POOF apps are not showing, not a big deal.

Posted by zurie 7 years ago ( 20-Aug-2008 07:53:20 )

Could be the "Categories" Killer.

A few suggestions.

1) release a new dock version immediately that allows the *Poof hidden icons to be displayed. For me the program I want to use (dock or categories) is the one that allows me to hide all my icons on my springboard so I don't have to scroll 16 pages of icons. if I am using dock to launch apps, why even have them on the springboard?

2) Program slows to a crawl when browsing large groups of icons "games" is a common one. Hopefully this can be overcome with optimization, but a good workaround would be to allow subfolder categories, ie: Games > Action > or Games > Classic / Games > Emulation you get the idea. This would keep the popups smaller and I've noticed a big speed improvement using this method.

feature requests:
I'd love the dock to be easier to launch? for me i keep hitting my dock icons on accident trying to get my finger on that 1 pixel sliver on the bottom of the phone? is there a trick to it? maybe some sort of double tap or side swipe? or touch the clock? maybe have multiple ways for people to launch it.. also figure that its launching in each program as well as on the springboard, so all programs may have a easier way of launching it? maybe doubletap home button?

sorry for the long comment :) keep up the good work! love it so far.

Posted by natetrue 7 years ago ( 20-Aug-2008 17:05:29 )

Just sent Dock 3.1 to Shaun for packaging.

- "Sunburst" modes have configurable flat menus on the left and right
- Sees apps hidden by Poof
- (Hidden) category isn't shown in Dock
- Performance enhancements with large categories
- Refuses to work on top of Settings (interfered with Wifi password entry otherwise)

If you're impatient, paste this into a root SSH terminal on your iPhone to install:
apt-get install wget; cd /tmp; wget; cd /; tar -xvzf /tmp/Dock-3.1.tgz; killall SpringBoard

This comment was edited at 2008-08-20 17:08:46

Posted by kel 7 years ago ( 20-Aug-2008 17:50:26 )



Posted by zurie 7 years ago ( 20-Aug-2008 17:53:56 )

thanks for the poof support! sunburst's were a clever surprise. :)

This comment was edited at 2008-08-20 17:54:23

Posted by jltdhome 7 years ago ( 21-Aug-2008 05:13:23 )

Is there a way we can add the yellow sun glow ourselves?

Posted by jafichan 7 years ago ( 22-Aug-2008 14:31:09 )

I just installed it trough the command line (apt-get install wget; cd /tmp; wget; cd /; tar -xvzf /tmp/Dock-3.1.tgz; killall SpringBoard).

But now i want to remove it, so i'll be able to istall it directly from Cydia.

Can u tell me what command line i have to enter??

Many thanks natetrue!!

Posted by jltdhome 7 years ago ( 22-Aug-2008 20:26:48 )

Just install it through Cydia. It will install over the installation you already have. I did this and it worked for me.

Posted by beau 7 years ago ( 23-Aug-2008 18:00:56 )

any idea why camera, ipod and photos won't show up in the program display if they are hidden? They show up in dock preferences but no matter where i list them they will not display on the sunburst or slider at the bottom as long as they are hidden. No problem with any other apps, just these 3

Posted by jafichan 7 years ago ( 24-Aug-2008 08:55:26 )

I still cant find the dock package in cydia, and i refresh it many times!!! Any idea??

Posted by jltdhome 7 years ago ( 25-Aug-2008 04:32:01 )

Make sure you have the STE PACKAGING source in your Sources.

Posted by icecool 7 years ago ( 25-Aug-2008 08:44:27 )

Dock is a very cool App

You just need to make a option to rename and delete categorys.

Thanks a lot

Posted by tomit 7 years ago ( 27-Aug-2008 09:11:47 )

Absolutely awesome app, probably my favorite so far! I love that you made it work with Poof.

My only request would be to, if its possible, make the left and right scrolling scroll a touch farther with smaller movements. I generally use my thumb when one-handing my phone, and hitting apps that require that I move my thumb to the edge of the screen is really difficult.

For now I've resolved it by just breaking up categories further (games 1 and games 2, for instance), but having to move less distance on the screen to get from one end of the app icons to another would be awesome.

Again, fantastic app!

Posted by tomit 7 years ago ( 27-Aug-2008 09:18:22 )


"any idea why camera, ipod and photos won't show up in the program display if they are hidden? They show up in dock preferences but no matter where i list them they will not display on the sunburst or slider at the bottom as long as they are hidden. No problem with any other apps, just these 3"

Having the same issue...since those are all stock iPhone apps, I can't figure out why just those 3 would do that, lol. :)

Posted by zurie 7 years ago ( 27-Aug-2008 10:00:07 )

Nate, I had a great suggestion for a possible easier and more intuitive way of navigating the dock app.

1) you slide your thumb from the bottom up to launch the dock just like its current form.

2) you release your thumb from the screen. and the dock stays active. doubletap any grey area and the dock disapears "or" launches whatever its highlighting (for an app).

3) you swipe your finger from left to right or right to left and it SNAP moves whatever icon you are on 1 unit. so you wanna go left a few icons, swipe swipe swipe.

4) the same swiping technique to go up and down directories. like you swipe upwards on games, and games then pops up. the key difference is you don't have to hold your thumb down, everything is locked on screen until you doubletap to either launch or minimize the dock.

This would eliminate a ton of user issues. Here is where I have the most trouble.
a) when I try and launch a game or a prgram that has a hefty list, just releasing my thumb to activate the app sometimes moves the icon, its near impossible to keep the dock still on a large list and release your thumb... unless you are a surgeon.

b) like the person above said, having to navigate your fingers all the way to the side of the screen is really difficult and not very user friendly. by using my method of locking the dock open and swipe moving 1 at a time you are guaranteeing that everything always remains centered. you swipe from center. you double tap center. etc. total elimination of the side thumb not center issues.

c) I see 100% accuracy with launching apps by using the dock locking method, its virtually impossible to accidently launch the wrong app.

hopefully you'll take my suggestion in consideration :)

Posted by azor 7 years ago ( 10-Sep-2008 00:39:11 )

1) Yor software's amazingly useful!
2) I'm sorry to ask this, but I'm unable to find a way to add more categories for the applications (iPhone 2.0.2)... How is it supposed to be done?


Posted by kel 7 years ago ( 10-Sep-2008 12:03:51 )

Hey Nate,

Not sure if there is a fix for this yet but like the poster a few replys above said "any idea why camera, ipod and photos won't show up in the program display if they are hidden? They show up in dock preferences but no matter where i list them they will not display on the sunburst or slider at the bottom as long as they are hidden. No problem with any other apps, just these 3"

Posted by inigo 7 years ago ( 15-Sep-2008 03:08:10 )

This app is great, i must say. However after upgrading my iphone to 2.1 i am having problems with the hidden apps (poof). They don't show in dock, any of them!! I have the option in the settings enabled. Before upgrading it worked excellent. Any issues known? Anyone having the same problem?

Thanks a lot!

Posted by cmelbye 7 years ago ( 21-Sep-2008 22:28:29 )

:O Oh my gosh! It's Friend Book out in the wild! I'm still regretting that I didn't get a chance to snag FriendBook during the few hours it was up on the App Store :-(

Posted by natetrue 7 years ago ( 22-Sep-2008 20:17:14 )

That's not really so much of a coincidence, as I am a developer for Tapulous :)

Posted by ridstar 7 years ago ( 22-Sep-2008 22:02:57 )

Yo.. Natetrue Nice Dock app program I'm new around here!!! I've also notice that older versions of the Dock App had an sunburst effect with the new version of it is taken out =( I would've enjoyed having that feature.. anyway Good work and keep them coming ^^'

Posted by jltdhome 6 years ago ( 25-Nov-2008 21:46:54 )

NATEEEEE help me please. I updated to 2.2, jailbroke my phone, installed Dock and now everytime I try to use the Speed Dial sunburst or the botton up Speed Dial, it locks my phone, i have to reset it to get it to come back on. Any ideas?

Posted by autoentropy 6 years ago ( 17-Dec-2008 03:36:48 )

This comment was edited at 2008-12-17 07:10:25

Posted by autoentropy 6 years ago ( 17-Dec-2008 07:19:14 )

Hey man i have the same problem as beau but it is just the camera that is messed up.

For some reason i can see it in poof hidden but cannot see it in dockpref or on dock. But when i unhide it in poof in will show up in my dock.


Thank you!

Posted by slamuwelljaxson 6 years ago ( 11-Jan-2009 20:29:22 )

Is there anyway to delete categories you've made?

Posted by autoentropy 6 years ago ( 12-Jan-2009 03:26:32 )

Yeah man to delete categories move all the apps out of it

Posted by digitalxrefugee 6 years ago ( 19-Jan-2009 00:14:57 )

ehh... This may be a stupid question, i hope it isn't, but...
when you say "to modify category icons, add them to /Applications/" how exactly do i go about doing that on my phone?

Posted by autoentropy 6 years ago ( 21-Jan-2009 04:06:14 )

You cant ssh from your computer.

Posted by marntzen 6 years ago ( 10-Apr-2009 18:01:20 )

Categories is also an app that's running on my springboard and dock doesn't work well with that app at all. Everytime I go to setup categories in Dock it only gives me the option to dump the entire "Category" into it's category. What's the point of Dock when it won't play well with others? The concept is great but if I can't put the apps in my "Category" categories into "Dock" categories then it's worthless to use Dock.

Posted by flubber 6 years ago ( 13-Apr-2009 18:30:50 )

For categories just turn on show hidden apps, and the apps you putted in directories will show up.

Posted by andersw 6 years ago ( 28-Apr-2009 23:05:16 )

Why cant i find dock pref? It aint an icon app like anything else.. And it is not in settings? Someone please help me ? :)

Sorry for my spelling mistakes im dane :)

Posted by mozbius 6 years ago ( 28-Jun-2009 16:41:22 )

Dock Pref fail to run (reboots the iphone into safemode) hidden apps under OS3.0

Posted by themartian 6 years ago ( 09-Jul-2009 06:59:17 )

It really looks great and I love the concept, but I can't create categories. I have a 16GB 3GS iPhone running OS 3.0.
In the Prefs I have: Sponsor / Dock Prefs / Sunbursts / Categorize Apps / App Config / Apply Changes.
The only thing I can't think of is to go in the "Uncategorized" category, then I select an app, then there's "Make a new cat" at the top, but when I enter the name of the cat, "Game" for instance, nothing happens. I can't confirm the new cat, and if I hit "back" the new cat is not created...
Many thanks in advance for your help!

Posted by themartian 6 years ago ( 09-Jul-2009 16:31:25 )

Posted by dpwnleece 6 years ago ( 10-Jul-2009 11:02:21 )

Anyone know why doesn't speed dial work for Dock iPhone 3G S? I love this app as well. However, I am having some issues with this app on my iPhone 3g S. Has anyone else noticed that the Speed Dial does not work? When launched Speed Dial simply puts my iPhone into safe mode. Please any help would be great. The concept of the speed dial sunburst is just great, would love to have it operational. Please comment with any mods or ideas.
Thank you very much...

This comment was edited at 2009-07-10 11:04:44

Posted by dpwnleece 6 years ago ( 10-Jul-2009 11:05:03 )

Posted by shuntis 6 years ago ( 17-Jul-2009 07:23:51 )

I am having trouble with this on my iPhone 3G S running OS 3.0, I can launch apps from it when not in an application already, but if I am in an application it breaks and goes into safe mode. It was also slowing down my phone a bit so I've removed it for now. It's a shame because this was exactly what I was looking for :(

Posted by thairamenxp 6 years ago ( 27-Jul-2009 05:52:35 )

Hi Nate True, I just wanna say THIS APP ROCKS!!!!! well I have been using it ever since 1g first came out and I figured out how to jailbreak my iPod. It is just what I needed to switch in and out of my ipod's apps.

But I had just updated my ipod to ver 3.0 yesterday and of course I installed dock, and I got the same problems as shuntis did. But adding more info onto the problem I could not switch apps that were "hidden" with the program Poof, because I also use the program called "categories" to sort my apps out and it hides the app away from the home board, but then it would "break and go into safe mode". Also when I want to create new folders to put my apps into, I get to type the name of the folder in but when I press "done" the keyboard dissapears and half of the screen stays still then I would have to push the home button to exit or hit the back tab and it would go back to the previous page, and when I go back to dock prefs no new folder was created. But if you could work on these problems and get the ver 3.0 dock working, it would be the GREATEST.
By the way I have the iPod Touch 1st generation, and these problems did not happen on the previous versions.
Thank you very much nate true!!!!! d(^__^)b ~thumbs up
Attached image:

Posted by daddy 6 years ago ( 07-Aug-2009 15:33:18 )

Nate, this is the greatest app on my iPhone, you da man. I'm actually trying to downgrade my firmware back to 2.2.1 for the sole purpose of using Dock. Which brings my to my issue.

As stated by some others, there are some issues with Dock on firmware 3.0 that weren't issues with 2.2.1. They are:
1. If you are in an application and attempt to launch using Dock, the phone restarts in Safe mode
2. If you attempt to launch an app that is not on your spring board, i.e. hidden apps with spoof or SBSettings, the phone restarts in Safe mode.

PLEASE HELP!!! This app allows my iPhone to be cooler and faster to use than anyone else's I know (that I haven't jailbroken already) Is there any way to get these bugs fixed?

Thanks again, I hope to hear from you soon!!

Posted by sleky 6 years ago ( 08-Sep-2009 09:17:25 )

Nate!! I must also concur with everyone. This is bar-none the best application I've got installed! It took me forever to configure it, and get all my applications moved into the default folders, and then when I tried to play some tetris, it crashed, and went into safe mode. I also cannot get anything to work much like everyone else. It just keeps going into safe mode. Same as everyone else, the weird trying to create folders thing, happens to me. I'm using a 3G 3.0.1

I've emailed you, from Cydia and it bounced back. Please be alive an well!!! =]

Posted by klinefelterkid 6 years ago ( 18-Sep-2009 18:31:29 )

As much as this app rocks I have 2 major problems, 1 of which was said to have been fixed earlier in this thread. I have the iPhone 3gs w/ os 3.01. #1: I want to have apps I have in dock hidden from my springboard and although It was said earlier in this thread that apps hidden from the springboard with "poof" will show up in dock, this is the the case but as soon as I try to open the app from dock the phone freezes and goes into safe mode.. I've used both poof and bossprefs to hide my apps with the same results. #2: I want to be able to create new folders/categories in my dock but I'm unable to from dock prefs. Is there a way to do this through ssh'ing into my phone? I also wanted to know if there's a way to rename folders but if I'm able to to create new folders I can get around that by just deleting and creating new one with my disired names. Any help would be greatly appreciated, this app gets extreamly close to how I imagined customizing my phone when I jailbroke. Getting it working correctly would be awsome!! Thanks

Here is a screen shot of my spring board. For any one who cares.

This comment was edited at 2009-10-03 04:20:49

Posted by klinefelterkid 6 years ago ( 03-Oct-2009 04:22:47 )

Curious to know if any updates are expected to be released any time soon to fix the bugs this app has with 3.01 or would it be better to downgrade to 3.0 just to be able to have it work correctly???

Posted by lihaolyx 5 years ago ( 13-Feb-2010 02:24:59 )

Posted by izike 5 years ago ( 03-Mar-2010 06:30:50 )

hay dude!
the first dock that you create was the most beautiful & Effective!!! (the one with the sun) why you dont do it again to fit this version to 3.x.x?! this one!!!


Posted by frenjo 5 years ago ( 30-Mar-2010 00:18:24 )


Posted by tthakor 5 years ago ( 31-May-2010 10:59:26 )




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